Family Home Evening this week was about the price our Savior paid for us. He went thru pain and agony to pay the price of atonement for each one of us, and it is up to us whether or not we accept his offering and sacrifice. It was an object lesson that made an impression on everyone. The price of having a donut was 5-10 pushups. Elder Solis agreed to do the pushups for each person who wanted a donut. Even if you did not accept the donut, he still did the pushups. It was a fun activity to make a great point! We also had birthday cake to celebrate Hillary's 22nd birthday.
Ingrid Ball and I started Boot Camp again this week at the park. It is on Tuesday and Friday morning for four weeks. Everyone is young mothers except for us, but we are holding our own. On our walk back home the other morning my foot kicked something on the sidewalk. I looked down and saw a metal object. I picked it up to see what it was, and of all things it could have been, it was a kids CTR ring!
Guillermo Alvarez from our ward and Spanish Group has taken an interest in helping James with his family history. He loves being a family history detective especially in Spanish records. He has spent hours looking thru baptismal and marriage records on line and has found a few of James's ancestors. He found Victor Porras's (great-great grandfather) baptismal record which has his parents names on it. That was exciting! We took him and his wife, Miriam, out for dinner. Miriam is from Guatemala. They have twin daughters and seven grandchildren. The one daughter's family lives in Texas and the other daughter's family is in Japan with the Navy. We are so lucky to have most of out family nearby! He showed us this five generation family group sheet he made on leather bought from the area of Mexico where he is from. It is about 4 ft X 6 ft. Pretty impressive!
Saturday morning we attended Bakersfield Stake 4th Annual Pioneer Picnic at Pyles Boy's Camp next to Lake Ming. Thankfully, it was an unusually cooler day (75 degrees). They had all kinds of fun pioneer activities like; rope making, hatchet throwing, leg wrestling, stick pulling, marbles, stilt walking, and gunny sack races. There was a continuous program on the stage; pioneer ancestor stories, singing, skits, dancing, and cello playing (Jayline). We even went on the stage with a few other missionaries that were there and some young people soon to leave on their missions to sing "Called to Serve". There was also had lots of good food; scones, watermelon, beef (wrapped in foil and burlap bags in the ground on top of smoldering ashes and covered in dirt for about 15 hours), baked potatoes, and pies. We took Sister Hall and a couple of her six children home after. Someone else took the rest of the kids. Their "home" was a room in a rundown motel in a rough part of town. It made you want to cry and certainly count your own blessings.
Later in the afternoon we attended the baptism for 17 year old Max Walden. His twin brother, Matthew, was there to support him. He is also taking lessons from the missionaries. After Max was baptized, he talked for a few minutes saying how he has been blessed since he first walked in the church and felt the spirit there. Max and his brother live with their grandmother who is blind and has many health problems and their two little cousins who they take care of. He said it was one of his little cousin's birthday and they didn't have any extra money to celebrate, but somehow they were blessed with some money to have a little party for him. They were so happy.
THE LORD LOVES YOU AND SO DO WE!